So, as for the stress and/or attack on my spirit and emotions...I delayed in sharing about it, but am now realizing that some of you would like to know how to pray for me...for us. For some twisted reason, it seems that Ivy's well-being has really been the focus of attack. It started on Christmas Eve.
Ivy has sustained a small little eczema patch on the back of her knee for quite a few months, since this past summer. Adjusting diet, detergents, soaps, and creams has not seemed to help yet. Since it was so itchy, we believe that she agitated it so much that it started to get infected and grow. That's what first appeared on Christmas Eve. We stayed in touch with her doctors for the week, but nothing seemed to help. By New Year's Day, it had gotten out of control and we had to take her to Urgent Care. That doctor diagnosed it as a ringworm infection (just a fungus not a worm) that also developed staph on top of it, which was spreading to the front of her leg and other leg! He prescribed an antibiotic and an anti fungal. These were her first prescriptions in her life...and if you know me, I am ridiculously hesitant about prescription medication. But, of course, when it comes to staph, I do not hesitate. Well, within a few days, her rash actually got worse. We had to take her back to Urgen Care (because it was a Saturday) and they determined that she had an allergic reaction to the antibiotic! And, then this doctor couldn't really determine what she had, so he referred us to a dermatologist the following Monday. So, I called that dermatologist early Monday morning (actually, I called 3) and they would not take a new patient that same day. So ridiculous. I eventually found a dermatologist that would see her that day, though I hesitated because he has a poor reputation. But, all I wanted was a diagnosis. So, I took her in. And, this guy was a jerk. He wouldn't listen to me, he refused to look at the photos I had of the progressing rash, he spoke to me like I was an idiot mother, he told me she just had eczema and told me to put vaseline on it. I walked out of there crying.
Anyway, to wrap up the story, I finally got her into a natural dermatologist that has determined she has eczema that was infected probably by a fungus and a bacteria. We are working on finding out the causes of these outbreaks. So, that is slowly getting in order....after 3 weeks of battling with it. I was beyond exhausted, emotionally. Weary was the word I kept using.
To add to all of that, on New Year's Eve, while David and Kinsey were visiting, Kinsey and I went to the grocery store. I think, because I was all out of sorts with stress and distracted and what not, I somehow neglected to buckle Ivy into the the shopping cart. I have one of those shopping cart covers and I always always buckle...of course. But, I guess every mom gets to experience a dose of feeling like a horrible mom, because of something they neglected....right? Yeah, on this day, Ivy decided to try to climb out of the cart...since I had forgotten to buckle her in. I didn't even know she could do this. I had my head turned, picking out pears. A man saw her and miraculously ran and literally caught her, mid-fall, as she was tumbling out head first! The glares I received in that moment were horrible. I packed everything up and ran out of the store crying. You can assume all of the thoughts that ran through my head on that horrible afternoon. I was so shaken up.
Then, last week, Ivy and I went to visit my girlfriend. I was walking down her stairs, holding Ivy, and fell. Both of my feet went out from under me and I fell straight on my right hip and wrist and bumped down the rest of the stairs. Thank God Ivy was ok...just very frightened. But, I sustained a massive bruise and swelling on my butt cheek. Lovely. I am still limping.
And, now? Now, Ivy has her first flu this week - the nasty one that is going around, I think. It's been pretty hard. This is a new experience for me because Vienne rarely got sick. She actually didn't get her first real illness until her second birthday. Dealing with a very sick baby is really hard. And, this is Ivy's first fever. The last time a child of mine had a fever, she died. You can imagine the feelings going through me every time I press my cheek to her forehead. It's awful.
And, through all of this anxiety and stress, I have realized that it may have broken my numbing shell...the one I have maintained all this time. I am really feeling things, now. I mean, really feeling it. It's as if the anesthesia of the shock has finally worn off...and the true ache over Vienne has set in. Yes, it hurt before. But, as I have written before, for the first few months I was aware of how numb I was feeling. I was plowing through my days, numb and in denial...grappling for any distraction I could find. I wondered where my emotion was. I had no idea how incredibly strong the effects of shock can be on your body and emotions. No idea. Until now. Now I'm feeling. And, it really really hurts.
I look back on that first day...."the worst day of my life" day, and I feel almost ashamed of how I was. I was in soooo much shock that I just sat around, receiving hugs and tears from people, crying with them, though remaining quiet and almost calm. Yes, I screamed in hysterics during it all that morning when I found her and when Mark came home...but after that, well, I was just in shock and numb.
But, now? Now I want to scream in hysterics almost all day long. There is not a moment that goes by that I am not thinking about her...that I am not aching for her...and that I am not raging in my head over the unfairness of it all. I am so angry. So constantly raging in my head about it all. What I can't seem to get over, lately, is realizing the cursed and dreaded path ahead of us that we have to walk for the rest of our lives. That it feels like there is no hope. This is our burden and there is absolutely no possiblity of changing it. No matter what we do in this life, there will never ever be anything that will fill the Vienne-sized hole. I can't get over this. I keep dwelling on it over and over. Do you know how daunting and depressing it is to be able to look at the rest of your life and know that it will always be filled with sadness and emptiness?
I was reading an article about grieving parents and was struck by so many statements and quotes that were written. I read them and my jaw dropped...it was literally as if someone already wrote my thoughts and feelings down about all of this. It is strange to learn that other grieving parents feel the same exact way about certain things. These following quotes are exactly what goes through my head over and over again... (the underlining is my doing...my emphasis)
"When a parent dies, you lose your past; when a child dies, you lose your future." - Anonymous
"A wife who loses a husband is called a widow. A husband who loses a wife is called a widower. A child who loses his parents is called an orphan. But...there is no word for a parent who loses a child, that's how awful the loss is!" - Neugeboren 1976, 154
"Parental grief is boundless. It touches every aspect of [a] parent's being...When a baby dies, parents grieve for the rest of their lives. Their grief becomes part of them...As time passes, parents come to appreciate that grief is [their] link to the child, [their] grief keeps [them] connected to the child."
And, I know - I know all the fluffy Christian things that all of you want to say back to me. Believe me, I know it all. I have walked with Christ for most of my life. I know all the right things to say...all the scriptures to be used...I've heard them said before and I'm sure I've said it all before. And, now I don't care about any of it. None of that brings comfort. You want to say to me that there is hope...There is hope in Christ. There is hope because she is in Heaven and I can see her one day. Yes. That is true. I know that. And, so I want to go there now. I don't want to stay. I. do. not. want. to. do. this!
You're wondering how the counseling appointment went the other week. Thank you for your prayers, by the way. Unfortunately, it was not a match for us. Sometimes, you don't realize all your required criteria until you are in the moment. She was just a bit too young for us (like our age or younger) and does not have kids. I really want to talk to someone who is a parent. So, we've found a new one that we will be trying this evening. She is older, she is a widow, and she has children. Hoping for a match because we can't keep traipsing around going through the misery of telling and retelling our story.
Anyway, that's what's going on with me. This is why I have been a bit quiet and just doing Birthday posts.
I am unquestionably weary from everything that has continued to slam into me and I am desperate for a change. Even though I am angry and cynical, I am desperate...so I did open my Bible for the first time ever this morning. Maybe that's what you should be praying for, for me.
Thank you, my Beloved Friends. xoxo